The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Round-up December 31-January 6, 2024



Auto Central January 6, 2024; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior Detroit editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Complete versions of today's news nuggets, along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million-page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a headline and inserting it into any Site Search Box.

Here are Larry's story picks from this past week's important to you, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy-to-understand automotive news nuggets. for Nutson's Auto News Weekly Wrap-up December 31, 2023 - January 6, 2024

* 2023 US New Car Sales; Auto industry sales of new vehicles in the US reached 15.5 million vehicles in 2023, a 12.4% increase according to Wards Intelligence. Many brands reported double-digit increases. This rebound from 2022 was in spite of the UAW strike against the Detroit three. Pent-up demand and better availability at dealers, along with significant growth in fleet purchases drove sales. Forecasts for 2024 expect limited growth with total volume at 15.6 million. EV sales continue to climb, with over 1 million sold in 2023, but at a slower rate due to high prices and the lack of adequate public charging network. Electric vehicles and hybrids accounted for 17% of the total. Tesla is the top selling EV brand

* 2023 US New Car Sales GM Number One; GM kept the US sales crown for 2023, selling 2,594,698 new vehicles compared with 2,274,088 in 2022. Coming in number two is Toyota Motor North America, which sold 2.3 million new vehicles. For the year, GM sold 13,938 of the new EVs it builds off its Ultium propulsion system, which includes electric delivery trucks made for GM's BrightDrop service. The Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV (which have been discontinued), built on existing architecture, sold 62,045 units for the year,

* 2023 US New Car Sales Ford f-150 Leads; Meanwhile, in 2023, more than 700,000 customers chose a new Ford F-Series truck, making it the best-selling truck in the United States for the 47th consecutive year. F-Series remained the best-selling vehicle in the nation for the 42nd year in a row.

* 2024 NACTOY Award Winner; The Toyota Prius, Ford Super Duty, and Kia EV9 took home top awards at the annual car, truck, and utility vehicle of the year awards. Beating out 52 total models which was narrowed down to 25 of the best earlier in 2023, the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle awards celebrate what officials call "new benchmarks" in the auto industry. The winners were determined by a final vote of 50 NACTOY jurors which cast their ballots in December. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, user experience and value.

* 2024 US New Car EV Rebates Going Away; Now in 2024 several electrified vehicle models will no longer qualify for federal tax credit incentives following clarified rules regarding the subsidies. The Chevrolet Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq EV are now ineligible to receive a $7,500 consumer incentive. Reports are GM has told its dealers it's working to quickly adjust the supply for parts on these models to restore the eligibility. The Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford E-Transit commercial van no longer will qualify for a $3,750 tax credit. The Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring plug-in hybrid will no longer be eligible for the $7,500 incentive. Some Tesla models and the Nissan Leaf have lost eligibility. Last month the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released guidance to clarify eligibility of the consumer tax credit on vehicles sold after Jan. 1. The rules disqualify EVs with specific foreign battery content. The tax credit, which starting in January will be able to be applied at the point of sale, was amended as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act to encourage domestic manufacturing and local supply-chain development. A workaround in the IRA allows vehicles that are leased to still qualify. Many EV automakers are encouraging leasing since it also removes the pricing and income caps.

* 2023 Lucid Air Single Charge Champion; US DoE factoid of the week: In model year (MY) 2023, the highest top range for a BEV was 516 miles on a single charge (Lucid Air), while the median range for all BEV models rose to a new high of 270 miles. The number of models and their ranges have greatly increased since modern EVs were introduced in 2011, when four models were available with ranges spanning 63 to 94 miles per charge. Note: Range is based on Environmental Protection Agency estimates and represents a combined mix of 55% city and 45% highway laboratory test driving cycles.

* US New EV Color Winners; Visual Capitalist created a graphic based on automotive research tool I See Cars‘ report about the most popular car colors in the U.S. in 2023, and the results go further than a simple color choice. Leading the pack is white at 26%. Next in the lineup is black at 22%, and close behind are two similar shades, gray and the lighter shade of silver, at 19% and 12% respectively. The first vibrant color on the list is blue at 10%, followed by red at 8%. Have a look. HERE

* Stellantis Opts Out Of Car Shows; Stellantis, whose brands are Chrysler, Dodge/SRT, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Mopar has opted out of participating in the 2024 Chicago Auto Show that is set to open on February 10. In a staement Stellantis said: "With a focus on preserving business fundamentals to mitigate the impact of a challenging U.S. automotive market, Stellantis is working to optimize its marketing strategy as it relates to auto shows. To be as efficient as possible in our media spend, we are evaluating participation in auto shows on a case-by-case basis, while prioritizing opportunities for consumers to experience our vehicles first-hand. Stellantis remains committed to building products customers love, ensuring freedom of mobility for all, and becoming second to none in value creation for its employees and all other stakeholders as outlined in the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan." Stellantis will also not participate in Houston and Dallas auto shows.

* Detroit Big 3 Skip Super Bowl Advertising ; Stellantis, GM and Ford won't advertise on this year's broadcast of the Super Bowl from Las Vegas on February 11. So forget about seeing any of those notable and occasionally controversial commercials featuring some favorite music stars or actors.

* You Can Drive But Still Can't Hide; Automotive News and the New York Times both recently carried stories about how technology in new vehicles has enabled stalking involving cars and their location tracking features. Apps that remotely track and control cars are being weaponized by abusive partners. Car manufacturers have been slow to respond, according to victims and experts. HERE

* KIA Theft Plague Gets Strong Deterrent; Kia America announced that it is unveiling an additional security measure to support its customers in response to criminals using methods of theft popularized on social media to steal or attempt to steal certain vehicle models. This new hardware modification—an ignition cylinder protector—is designed for the vehicles that are not eligible for the security software upgrade that Kia introduced earlier this year and works to combat theft by reinforcing the ignition cylinder body and preventing its removal through the method of theft promoted in videos that have spread across social media encouraging criminal activity.

* Some Ford F-150's Recalled Blame Bolt Fatigue; Ford is recalling certain 2021-2023 Ford F-150 vehicles because the rear axle hub bolt may break, increasing the likelihood of crash. Affected are 2021-2023 F-150 vehicles equipped with the Trailer Tow Max Duty package and a 9.75-inch heavy duty axle with a 3/4 float axle design. In total, 112,965 vehicles are affected by the recall.

* 2024 Dakar Rally Getting Ready; The fifth edition of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia is taking place from January 5th to 19th. The 2024 Dakar Rally is the 46th edition of the Dakar Rally, organized by Amaury Sport Organization, and the 5th time Saudi Arabia has hosted the event. The rally is also the first round of the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship. Entries include 345 competition vehicles in six classes and 80 classic vehicles in two classes.

* RIP Cale Yarborough; NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough has died. He was 84. Yarborough is one of the most successful NASCAR drivers ever with 83 Cup Series wins and three championships. Yarborough won those championships in three straight seasons from 1976-78 as he amassed 28 wins and 70 top-five finishes over 90 races in that span. Yarborough is one of just seven drivers with more than 80 Cup Series wins and is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the sixth-most wins at NASCAR’s top level behind Petty, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.

Stay safe. Be Well.